Racing through the dark - Challenge Post

OFF: This is my challenge post.
ON: It was like the entire ship suddenly cried out at once. The display on Aji’s PADD began to spin upward wildly. Depressurization, malfunctions, fires and power outages, and just about everyone that had been off duty was suddenly chiming in to see what was going on. Ten Forward was reporting all sorts of irregularities. Ensign McCree even reported in that the gravity felt heavy. There was something else about security reporting a foul smelling growth in the crew decks and somebody broke a control panel in Sickbay. Right now she had far bigger issues on her mind. She quickly sent orders for crews to keep sickbay in order, they might need them before too much longer. McCree chimed in once more. Furiously she lowered the gravity in Ten Forward as he requested. If he was being an idiot again, there would be hell to pay.
To her distress, engineering was not responding to her orders through her PAAD.

She tapped her combadge, <O> D’Moonh to Engineering, please respond. <O>

Nothing. Beyond the obvious, something wasn’t right. “Captain! I need to get down to my crews. Permission to get down to engineering.” A quick nod from the Captain was all she needed, leaping from her chair and heading to the turbolift. The doors remained shut. She lept up to press the manual call button. Still nothing.

<O>Turbolifts are unavailable.<O> the computer stated.

Even now she was thinking of the multiple hull breeches reported by the computer. Turbolifts were down and point to point transporters were not reliable as they entered the nebula. The fastest thing on the ship right now was her. She pulled open an access plate adjacent to the turbolift with her spanner and dove in.

The dorsal access tunnel that traveled down the spine of a Galaxy class starship stretched out nearly half a mile from bow to stern and dropped well over 300 feet. Besides the occasional section marker very little changes in one of these accessways. Small, confining and repetitive, but in the brightly colored tubes, hoses and conduits, was the living nervous system of a starship.

Aji took a moment to scratch her twitching nose. One of the odd side effects of over caffeination was a nearly constant itching that made the Tamian engineer want to crawl out of her fur. Curse that ridge faced hobgoblin that suggested the infernal concoction.

He hadn’t lied about the effects, understated might be a better word. Of course most Klingons did not have a total body weight of twenty pounds. The Ractajino coursing through her veins was unlike anything she had experienced. Stims for emergency repairs was one thing; nasty chemicals that slowly clouded the mind. This was different. Her mind raced as she scampered down through the ducts. Flashes of plans, schematics, work orders. It was almost like she could sense the ship around her, and right now it was crying out for help.

Her tiny heart beat furiously in her chest as she began the downward descent towards engineering. Suddenly the ship shook and the lights suddenly cut out. The faint glow from power streaming through the conduits gave her bulbuolous eyes adequate light to continue on. Dark, tight spaces were actually a great comfort to her, as well as a little time alone. The world of Starfleet was not made for her. All the humanoid variations of the Galaxy had built their world to their standards. The dark hovels of her homeworld were a distant memory, but the quiet solitude of darkness was a soothing comfort.

The tunnel dropped sharply. She lept to the opposite side of the shaft. And then began a long series of bounds, allowing her to descend at an alarming rate. Certainly this was not the way these tunnels were designed to be traveled. But right now all she could think of was tiny feet scampering through the dark may be the ships best hope.

Markers in the access tunnel showed she was nearing the top shaft of the Warp core. In a matter of four rapid leaps she landed on the floor of the engineering deck. Her staff were mostly missing, hopefully trying to get systems back on line again.

Sighting Lt. Alvarez she squeaked out. “Status report!” The tall lieutenant responded back, “There is not much working at the moment ma’am. “ She gestured to the status board , “Fires are still reported on decks 13-19. There has been some success in sealing some of the hull breaches, at least the force fields are holding. Hull integrity is still strong.”

Aji nodded, scanning the boards as the Lieutenant recited the situation. “Let’s work on getting the situation contained, then I want to know what happened.”
Aji traced her tiny paws over the lighted schematic of the ship. Her fingers shook as the caffeine still pumped through her. A flutter here and a flutter there, she rerouted power to buttress the decks in distress and cue up the fire suppression systems. So much to do. Her mind raced with steps and procedures. Slowly the indicators on decks 13-19 began to shift from red to green. It was going to be a long day.

Aji D'Moonh,
Chief Engineer
USS Endeavor

Lt. Alvarez
Engineering Section Leader


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